Category: Game Recap
Happy Birthday, kid.
On his son’s birthday, Penguins mucker Mike Rupp had a career night, scoring his first NHL hat trick, along with two more goals from Sidney Crosby, as the Penguins swept the home-and-home series with the Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden. It was the Penguins first regular season win at MSG since 2007.
Tonight’s rematch was nothing like Saturday’s chippy affair, with no fights and not very many major hits at all.
Interestingly though, during tonight’s post-game interview, Rupp told FSN Pittsburgh’s Dan Potash that the Rangers had a guy that wanted to “get himself out of the game to avoid sticking up for himself”, no doubt in reference to Sean Avery.
I assume no one will question the use of “pound” tonight.
In the first of a home-and-home series, the Penguins took full advantage of the Rangers starting backup goalie Steve Valiquette vice Henrik Lundqvist, with Sidney Crosby scoring his 4th career hat trick and five points in a 8-3 win over the Rangers at the Igloo.
The win culminated a triple dose of good news the Pens received before the game, as defensemen Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski and forward Tyler Kennedy all returned to the lineup. In addition to that, defenseman Jay McKee will probably return to Monday’s trip to Madison Square Garden. That will leave Chris Kunitz as the only remaining Penguin left to return.
I don’t have the stats in front of me, and frankly I’m too lazy to research it, but if memory serves me correctly the Penguins have not played very well in afternoon games over the past few seasons.
Combine that with a very scrappy performance by the up and coming Islanders, and that was enough for the Isles to squeak out a 3-2 matinee win over the Penguins at Nassau Coliseum.
John Tavares’ tap-in of the rebound of a Freddy Meyer slapper with 6:12 remaining for the game-winner. Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke had the Penguins’ goals. Backup Pens’ goalie Brent Johnson stopped 34 of the Isles’ 37 shots on goal.
The Penguins’ gameplan going into tonight’s 3-1 win over Montreal was pretty clear from the start: Finish your checks.
I’d say they executed that plan very well, as the Pens were awarded with 45 hits on the Habs, playing on the 2nd night of back-to-back games after playing last night in Montreal vs. Columbus.
Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar scored for the Pens, while Max Pacioretty had the lone tally for the Habs.
As the clock wound down in the third period, it appeared that this game just wouldn’t be in the cards for the Penguins.
As it turned out, a nice dirty goal off the shoulder of Panthers’ goalie Tomas Vokoun, combined with a Mike Rupp goal after an 88 second extended shift in the Panthers’ zone late in regulation forced the game into overtime. From there, a double minor high-sticking penalty gave the Penguins a 4-on-3 powerplay, where Sidney Crosby banged the rebound of an Evgeni Malkin shot past Vokoun for a 3-2 Penguins win.
Vokoun stopped 42 of the 45 Penguin shots, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19 of 21.
Two days after a 6-2 lackluster effort in Ottawa, the Penguins got another healthy body back in the lineup and started to regain some of their form tonight with a 3-2 win over the Thrashers at Philips Arena.
That ultra-sniper Martin Skoula scored twice for the Penguins (sarcasm), while Evgeni Malkin had the other tally. Chris Thorburn and Maxim Afinogenov scored for Atlanta.
The Pens welcomed back defenseman Brooks Oprik back to the ice, while Pens’ announcer Paul Steigerwald mentioned that Tyler Kennedy practiced with the team with contact and might be back in the lineup Monday night at Florida.
Sorry the tardiness. Had to make a quick trip to DC, was beat last night.
Speaking of beat, boy did the Penguins look like they were in a funk last night in their 6-2 loss to the Senators. One of those games where you try to forget about it as quickly as possible, it was pretty ugly.
One of those games when the Pens made Chris Phillips look like Dany Heatley’s replacement.
The Penguins are down four of their starting six defensemen, but their replacements performed just about as well as could be expected in a 5-2 win over a sloppy Anaheim squad at the Igloo.
Matt Cooke had two goals for the Pens, while Jordan Staal notched his 9th career short-handed goal. Marc-Andre Fleury saved 23 of 25 shots on net.
In addition to the win, the Pens may receive an extra boost Thursday night in Ottawa, as Max Talbot told PensTV’s Sam Kasan tonight that he is hoping to return to the lineup in time for the Senators’ game.
Now that was one helluva hockey game.
And quite frankly, I would have said that even if Bill Guerin hadn’t scored on a slap shot past Bruins’ goalie Tim Thomas with only .4 seconds left on the clock to force overtime. Or even if Pascal Dupuis wouldn’t have scored on a virtual empty-netter 1:24 into overtime, giving the Penguins a wild 6-5 win over the Bruins.
Evgeni Malkin had three assists in his return from a bum shoulder, while Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for the Penguins.
Um, let’s see. Well, it doesn’t look like any Penguins were injured tonight !
Um, they scored for the first time in three games !
Other than that, it was more of the same for the depleted Penguins, losing to Marty Brodeur and the Devils 4-1, the identical score the last time the Penguins hosted the Devils on Oct. 24th.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Penguins.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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